Novato Cosmetic Dentist Talks About Ways That Coffee Can Affect Your Smile

Written by Dr. McConnell on Nov 2, 2021

If you are someone who always starts their day with a cup of coffee, then this informative article is for you! Today our Novato dentists are reviewing some of the key ways that coffee consumption affects oral health. Keep reading to learn more… 


Coffee discolors teeth because of an ingredient called tannin. Tannin is a type of polyphenol that breaks down in water. It is also a part of other beverages like wine and tea. The more beverages you consume that include tannin, the more likely you are to notice that your smile looks dark or discolored. Keep in mind that it also matters how long these beverages are allowed to sit on your dental enamel; the goal is to minimize tannin exposure over time. 

Acidic Exposure

Acidic foods and drinks temporarily change the structure of your dental enamel, making it more likely that your teeth will take on discoloration or damage. After acid exposure, your enamel will be slightly softer and more porous for about twenty to thirty minutes post-exposure. In order to protect your smile, you don’t want to pick at or brush your teeth in this time period. Give your enamel a chance to re-mineralize before you touch your teeth.

Additional Sugars

You also want to consider how you take your coffee, as added sugars, syrups, and creamers can further affect the appearance and health of your smile. Remember that oral bacteria love to feed on sugars and refined carbohydrates, so your fancy coffee order may actually be revving up bacterial production in your mouth. In order to minimize this type of dental damage, try to rinse your smile vigorously with water after you finish caffeinating.

If you want to learn more about protecting your smile from coffee-related damage, our Novato dentists are here to help you. You can reach our team by calling our office or by using the Contact Us page on our website. Together we can make a plan to keep your smile strong and sparkling!